Programs of Study

The University of New Mexico offers curricular programs focused on the medieval period for both undergraduates and graduate students. Undergraduates may pursue the Minor in Medieval Studies, a 24 credit hour program that is richly interdisciplinary in nature. Programs for graduate students are offered primarily through UNM's English and History Departments, and include:

Course Offerings

Each semester, the Institute for Medieval Studies and its faculty offer many different courses for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Ranging in topics from Archaeology and Art to Literature and Language, these courses challenge students and provide an opportunity to engage with the Middle Ages in a great variety of ways.  Please see our listing of courses for the current semester, or contact the Institute for more information.

The Minor in Medieval Studies

The Minor in Medieval Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the rich culture of the European Middle Ages. Representing a major period of transition between Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance, the Middle Ages witnessed key developments in literature, history, art, architecture, music, philosophy, religion, and science—developments whose impact has continued to reverberate to the present day.

This was the era that saw the composition of great vernacular works such as Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, the Arthurian legends, and Dante’s Divine Comedy; the emergence of the illuminated manuscript as a major art form and medium for the transmission of knowledge; the foundation of the first universities and the development of a formal educational curriculum; the architectural achievements embodied in the great Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals; the major encounter between the West and Islam that produced the Crusades on the one hand and the revival of Aristotelian learning on the other; the spirituality of the monastic orders; the music and poetry of the troubadours; and the richly varied lives of such influential individuals as the emperor Charlemagne, the philosopher Peter Abelard, the visionary Hildegard of Bingen, and the saint Francis of Assisi.

Political and ideological developments were no less important: it was during the Middle Ages that most Western countries assumed something close to their present borders and began to develop their national consciousness, while the period also witnessed the beginnings of parliamentary democracy. 

Minor Study Requirements

The Minor in Medieval Studies requires 24 hours of work in approved courses.

  • All students must take MDVL 201, The Medieval World (3 credit hours)
  • All students must complete one course in Latin or a modern European language, selected from the following: LATN 101, 102, 201, 202, 351, 352; FREN 101, 102, 201, 202; GRMN 101, 102, 201, 202; ITAL 275, 276; RUSS 101, 102, 201, 202; SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202, 275, 276.
  • The remaining 18 hours are to be selected from the Approved Electives listed below, including at least 3 hours in History, 3 hours in English, and 3 hours in Art History.

Approved Electives: When course number is in bold, the course is offered based on popular demand.

Anthropology: ANTH

420 (when taught as Medieval Archaeology)

Art History: ARTH

321 (Early Medieval Art, 500–1000 CE); 322 (High Medieval Art, 1000–1200 CE);429 (Topics in Art History, when topic is medieval); 431 (Byzantine Art and Architecture); 432 (Islamic Art and Architecture); 449 (Art of Spain)

English: ENGL

306 (Arthurian Legend and Romance); 347 (Viking Mythology, also listed as MDVL 347); 348 (Topics in Medieval Studies); 349 (From Beowulf to Arthur) 350 (Medieval Tales of Wonder); 351 (Chaucer); 447 (Introductory Old English); 448 (Beowulf and Other Topics); 449 (Middle English Language, also offered as LING 449); 450 (Middle English Literature); 451 (Topics in Medieval Studies)

History: HIST

300 (Studies in History, when topic is medieval); 303 (Early Middle Ages, 300–1050); 304 (High and Late Middle Ages, 1050–1400); 314 (Old Russia, 9-17th Century); 318 (Spain and Portugal to 1700); 323 (History of the Jewish People to 1492); 326 (History of Christianity to 1517, also offered as RELG326); 401 (Anglo-Saxon England, 450–1066); 402 (The Crusades); 485 (Islamic Middle East, Circa 600-1260 CE); 488 (Islamic Middle East, 600-1260)

Other Courses:

ITAL 475 (Dante in Translation); MDVL 347 (Viking Mythology); MUS 361 (History of Music I), 413 (Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music); SPAN 411 (Survey of Spanish Peninsular Literature I).

Other courses of medieval content may be approved as electives by the Director of the Institute for Medieval Studies.